Arts & Entertainment
Creep of the Week: Chris Christie
By D'Anne Witkowski
Originally printed 1/16/2014 (Issue 2203 - Between The Lines News)
We can all sleep easier now knowing that it is still a huge pain in the ass for transgender people in New Jersey to amend their birth certificates.
Hero Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have allowed transgender people to have their birth certificates reflect their actual gender without having to undergo the big "sex change operation."
It's important to note that not all trans people have had or want to have gender reassignment surgery. This is something a lot of non-trans people do not understand. At all. But such surgery is super-duper expensive and rarely covered by insurance. Not only that, but getting all intimate with a doctor's scalpel is serious stuff with the possible negative effects any surgery carries, including possibly eliminating sexual sensation. Not to mention the fact that some trans folks would still like to have kids, thank you very much, regardless of the physical manifestation of their kid-making parts.
Now, for folks who are not trans, Christie's veto might not seem like a big deal. And in the grand scheme of things, it isn't. This is an issue that impacts a very small number of people and most of the folks in New Jersey have not had their lives changed one bit by Christie's veto.
Of course, one could also make the argument that since this bill, in fact, would directly impact such a small number of people, vetoing it is a pretty shitty thing to do. What this bill would have done is afford an additional shred of decency to the way we, as a society, ultimately treat trans people. This is a population that is discriminated against in so many ways and whose very existence is either completely denied or held up as an example of perversion by the anti LGBT right.
But Christie says no.
"Unlike many other states, New Jersey already has an administrative process in place to streamline applications to amend birth certificates for gender purposes without court order," Christie's veto statement reads. "Under the proposal before me, however, the sponsors seek to alter the amended birth certificate application process without maintaining appropriate safeguards."
It's true. New Jersey is better than many when it comes to amending birth certificates. But why should trans people have to settle for Christie's definition of "good enough?"
And what are the "appropriate safeguards" Christie is referring to? Well, he doesn't want to see people amending their birth certificates left and right in order to do terrorism or whatever.
"A birth certificate is an important legal document," Christie offers helpfully. "Birth certificates are often required to complete myriad security-related tasks. Accordingly, proposed measures that revise the standards for the issuance of amended birth certificates may result in significant legal uncertainties and create opportunities for fraud, deception, and abuse, and should therefore be closely scrutinized and sparingly approved."
That's right. All of these "trans" people are probably just a bunch of scammers.
And Christie should know a scammer when he sees one, am I right? Heck, with all of his talk about "fraud, deception, and abuse," I thought he was talking about his own administration rather than using his veto power to further discriminate against a vulnerable minority population.